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Mind responds to latest NHS data showing increase in people turning to mental health services and eating disorder treatment targets missed

Thursday, 11 November 2021 Mind

The latest performance data has been published as part of the NHS Mental Health Services Data Set and quarterly eating disorder treatment figures for children and young people. The figures reflect, respectively, activity in August and Quarter 2 of this year.

What the data shows:

  • People subject to the Mental Health Act (mental health services) – 20,391, the highest number since the pandemic began (March 2020).
  • There has been an 11% increase in people in contact with mental health services since the same month last year - 1,469,187 in August 2021, up from 1,320,741 in August 2020 and 1,325,317 in August 2019.
  • Only 63% of urgent cases of young people referred to eating disorder services were seen within one week (against the 95% target)
  • Only 65% of routine eating disorder cases of young people were referred within four weeks (against the 95% target)

Leila Reyburn, Policy and Campaigns Manager at Mind, the mental health charity, said: 

“The picture remains bleak for the nation’s mental health. Today’s figures show that since the pandemic began, the highest number of people have been subject to mental health legislation because they are so unwell. There has been an 11% increase in people seeking help for NHS mental health services compared to the same time last year.

“Now more than a third (37%) of young people with eating disorders who need urgent treatment are not being seen within the NHS’s one week target. This is completely unacceptable. There has also been a decrease in other young people with eating disorders being seen within the NHS four-week target.

“This is moving in the wrong direction and cannot go on – we need urgent clarity on how much of the funding the NHS received in the Spending Review will be put towards mental health services.”

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